Sherilyn Pastor is Practice Group Leader of McCarter’s Insurance Coverage Group. She is an experienced trial attorney, who has secured hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance for corporate policyholders. She litigates complex coverage matters throughout the country and abroad, and provides insurance coverage advice to clients assessing their potential risks, analyzing new insurance products, and considering the adequacy of their programs.
By way of example, Ms. Pastor defended Transamerica Corporation in a dispute with a former subsidiary (IMO Industries) regarding the $1.5 billion in insurance coverage Transamerica had purchased for itself and its subsidiaries as part of a consolidated risk management approach. After a six-month trial for this policyholder, the court ruled in Transamerica’s favor on all claims against it, entering declaratory judgment that Transamerica’s decades old divesture agreement left its former subsidiary liable for its own asbestos losses. The court rejected that Transamerica was responsible for deductibles, retentions, or gaps in insurance coverage, or was effectively transformed into a “de facto” insurer because of its risk management efforts. The Appellate Division upheld all of the trial court’s rulings in a 114-page decision, 81 pages of which it approved for publication, in September 2014. The N.J. Supreme Court refused to disturb them in July 2015, and order costs be paid in Transamerica’s favor..
Ms. Pastor has shaped insurance law. She obtained summary judgment awarding Wakefern Food Corporation insurance for all its Northeast blackout losses, establishing New Jersey law that “physical damage” in a property and business interruption policy includes loss of use, value and function. She convinced a federal court that an employee’s bill padding and kickback scheme was a direct and covered loss under a crime insurance policy. The court agreed with her, in awarding summary judgment to her client, that having the funds pass through an intermediary did not change the fundamental nature and effect of the employee’s theft and unlawful taking of property. Ms. Pastor also helped Lucent Technologies Inc. (now Alcatel Lucent) recover its fiduciary liability coverage following various class action settlements with ERISA plaintiffs.
Ms. Pastor is on the Board of Regents of the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (ACCEC), and Co-Chair of its Professional Liability Committee. She received the College’s Thomas F. Segalla Award in 2015. Ms. Pastor is the Immediate Past Chair (Policyholder Side) of the ABA Litigation Section’s Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, having served as Vice-Chair from 2009-2012 and as co-chair of various ICLC subcommittees since 2002. Ms. Pastor was a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Professional Responsibility Rules Committee for over a decade, and a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Working Group on Ethical Issues Involving Metadata in Electronic Documents. She also serves as an Editorial Consultant to Law360: Insurance, and was on the Editorial Boards of the Insurance Coverage Law Bulletin, and a consultant on the New Appleman Insurance Law Practice Guide.
Ms. Pastor is recognized as a Band 1 leader in her field by Chambers USA and as one of New Jersey's “Best 50 Women in Business” by NJBIZ, She also is recognized in The International Who's Who of Insurance & Reinsurance, and has been listed in New Jersey Super Lawyers since 2005. She has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Insurance Law and Litigation - Insurance from 2015-2017. She was a TWINS honoree in 2011. Chambers is published by Chambers and Partners. Super Lawyers is published by Thomson Reuters. A description of their selection process can be found in the respective links above. Best Lawyers is published by Best Lawyers in partnership with US News and World Report. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
Ms. Pastor publishes and lectures frequently on insurance, trial skills and ethics matters. Ms. Pastor’s recent publications include: Pastor, Insua, & Budesheim, “Much (Allocation) Ado About Nothing: IMO Decision Presents Such Unique Facts the Court Resists Offering General Allocation Law Pronouncements,” NJSBA Insurance Coverage Newsletter (Vol. 21, No. 2, Nov. 2015), Pastor & Lloyd, “When Your Data Goes Viral: Insurance for Data Breaches,” Corporate Counsel (Jan. 29, 2015); Pastor & Carmel, “Coverage in the Electronic Age: Insurance Coverage for Cybertorts,” New Appleman on Insurance: Current Critical Issues in Insurance Law (Dec. 2014); Pastor & Carmel, “Understanding ISO's New 2014 Cyber Insurance Endorsements,” Coverage, Vol. 24, No. 6 (Nov./Dec. 2014); Pastor, “Litigation: 6 ways in-house counsel can aid outside counsel in litigation (Part 2)”InsideCounsel, (March 17, 2014); Pastor, Carmel, Pulmanova & Golden, “Will Cyberbullying Claims Be Covered Under Homeowners’ Policies?” Coverage, Vol. 22, No. 6 (Nov./Dec. 2012); Pastor & Barker, “Recoupment of Defense Costs for Noncovered Claims (With Multi-State Survey of Law on Insurer Recoupment of Defense or Settlement Costs)”New Appleman on Insurance - Current Critical Issues in Insurance Law, Fall 2012; “If Insurers Have an Alleged ‘Right’ to Reimbursement, Where Does It Come From?” Ins. Cov. Law Bulletin, Vol. 11, No. 7 (Aug. 2012); Pastor & Russo, “NJ Appellate Division Upholds Assignment of Homeowner’s Policy’s Benefits,” Ins. Cov. Law Bulletin, Vol. 11, No. 7 (Aug. 2012); Pastor & Insua, “Improving Your Company’s D&O Insurance Coverage,” Global Reference Guide Risk Management & Insurance with Global Advisor Directory, Financier Worldwide (July 2012); Pastor & Strutt, “Addressing the Complications Arising From Coverage Settlements Involving Multiple Insureds and Insurers and Non-Covered Parties” (May 2012); Pastor, Osias, Sattin & Betz, “The Continuing Debate over the Breadth & Limits of the Exclusion for “Water Under the Ground Surface” in First-Party Policies,” LexisNexis Emerging Issues Analysis (May 2011); Pastor & Little, “Fighting for “Right” of Reimbursement,” Law360 (May 4, 2011); Pastor, Gottlieb & Insua, “Taking Cover When Disasters Far and Near Strike: Policyholders Should Look to Their Insurance Coverage,” The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, Vol. 19, No. 4 (Apr. 2011); Pastor, Gottlieb & Insua, “Earthquakes, Floods and Disasters Near and Far: Policyholders Should Look for Cover in the Coverage,” LexisNexis (2011).